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Old 04-30-2012, 07:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hoopsworld: Harrison Barnes a Toronto Raptor?

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The NBA hasnít held the draft lottery yet (May 30), but the Raptors are likely to be drafting in the 6-7 range after the ping pong balls work their magic. That being the case, UNCís Harrison Barnes should be of great interest to the Raptors. They have the front court taken care of with Andrea Bargnani, Ed Davis, Amir Johnson, James Johnson, Linas Kleiza, Jonas Valanciunas and Solomon Alabi (team option) under contract for next season. They could use some depth behind DeMar DeRozan at shooting guard, but thatís more of a free agency issue. What they really need from their first round pick is a legit wing player to complement the rest of the roster, and there just happens to be a player fitting that profile in this yearís lottery.

UNC small forward Harrison Barnes is not a future Hall of Famer by any stretch of the imagination, and he is not the guy you build your franchise around. Fortunately, the Raptors donít need a franchise player Ė they already have some solid candidates for that label in DeRozan and Bargnani, and possibly Valanciunas. What they need is a great intangibles guy who will make the defense pay for overlooking him, and that role fits Barnes to a tee.

Barnes may not be great, but he is very good in a lot of areas. On the offensive end, Barnes ranked in the 73rd percentile in transition, 65th in post-ups, 64th in isolation, 64th as the ball handler in the pick-and-roll, and 60th when coming off screens. Heís not much of a spot-up shooter and doesnít cut to the basket for easy scores, but otherwise he does a lot of things well. The fact that Barnes is good in transition could help the Raptors address one of their biggest weaknesses on the season, as they ranked just 16th in the NBA in transition offense. He could also shore up their post-up game, where the Raptors were 19th in the league this season. Where Barnes struggles Ė the spot-up game Ė Toronto ranked 6th in the league this season, by far their nest offensive category, so that part of Barnesí game wouldnít be missed.

Heís not much of a defender, ranking in the 77th percentile when defending a pick-and-roll ball handler 64th in defending a spot-up shooter. Otherwise his rankings are pretty low, 42nd percentile and below across the board. Thatís not ideal, but itís not terrible either, as the Raptors have plenty of size in the paint to help clean up penetrating perimeter players.

Again, Barnes is not a franchise player who is ready to take the NBA by storm and make a franchise his own. He is, however, a great all-around player with strengths in a wide range of areas. He can step into a situation where a team already has some star players and be the James Harden, Jason Terry type of player who makes the stars more effective by filling in the gaps and torching an unsuspecting defense.

Donít be surprised of the Raptors call Harrison Barnesí number on draft night.
NBA@2: Harrison Barnes A Toronto Raptor? | HOOPSWORLD | Basketball News & NBA Rumors
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